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10 Tips For Buying Your First Condom
A condominium is typically a property shared with the individual owners of each "unit" or condominium. In most cases, the condominiums offer services such as, but not limited to, gyms, tennis courts, and swimming pools. Many people buy condos because of the lower maintenance and also the lifestyle of living in a condo community.
When buying new condos for sale, it is important to know that each condo community is different. It is essential to know that each community will have its own community rules, association fees, management company and services. Depending on the community, there may only be a couple of condo communities, but there could even be hundreds, so do your research!
What tips do you need to know when buying your first condo? Here are 10 tips to use when buying your first condo!
Determine if a condo is "right"
It is very important to ask yourself before buying your first condo, "Should I buy a condo?" As mentioned earlier, owning a condo is very different from owning a single-family residence. Weighing the pros and cons is a must!
One of the main differences between New condos ...
... for sale and a single-family residence is the proximity to your neighbors. It is very possible that you have several neighboring condos attached to yours instead of your own separate residence. Can you imagine living so on the brink of your neighbors?
Another important consideration in determining whether or not a condo is "adequate" relates to maintenance that is generally included in association fees. If you like to mow your lawn and plant your own flowers, a condo is probably not the right place. Most condo communities include lawn maintenance, snow removal (if applicable), and exterior maintenance.
Hire a real estate agent who has experience selling condos
Selling a condo is very different from selling a single-family, multi-family, or vacant lot! The purchase contract for a condominium is not the same as for other types of residences. There are contingencies other than the common contingencies found in a residential sales contract.
One main difference when buying a condo is that most communities will require a contract to be signed in addition to the typical sales contract prior to closing. The contract that a community will have you sign will generally indicate that you understand and agree to the association's rules and regulations.
Because of these differences, it is important that you work with a real estate agent who has experience selling condos. A real estate agent with experience in condo sales will know how to guide you through the process and ensure that important documents are not overlooked.
Financing New Condos for Sale is not the same as a single-family residence. Like buying a single-family home, getting pre-approval before looking for condos is critical, as well as determining if it's the "right fit." Obtaining financing can be difficult when it comes to buying a condo, as many lenders and loan products do not allow the purchase of condos.
New condos for sale are very often purchased for cash due to program and lender regulations. If you plan to get a loan from the FHA (Federal Housing Administration), the first step is to make sure the condo community is on your list of approved communities. Normally, the FHA requires that 80% of the units in the building be owner-occupied, so make sure the community is on your approved list, before falling in love with a property!
A buyer can still obtain a private mortgage for the purchase of a condo. This often comes at a much higher cost, as many private lenders will require a minimum of 20% on a condo purchase. Buying a condo may not be the best option if you don't have a substantial amount of money saved for your down payment.
Know what the condo includes
This may sound like silly advice, but it is important to know exactly what the condo includes. When purchasing your first condo, be sure to find out if the condo includes a reserved parking space or additional storage space. Does the condo community offer additional parking for your visiting guests? Is the parking space in a covered garage?
During a recent condo sale in Rochester, NY, the seller rented his parking space to one of his fellow community residents. Fortunately, there was no long-term agreement between the seller and his neighbor! It is important for you to know that additional parking spaces and/or storage areas will be available at closing before purchasing the condo! The last thing you want to know is that you have nowhere to park your car a week before closing.
Know what the association fees include
The amount of the community New condos for sale association fees is very important information to know when purchasing your first condo. Just as important is knowing what the association fees include. As mentioned above, the rates generally include insurance and maintenance. Know exactly what the association fees include and what if any exclusions apply.
In addition to insurance and maintenance, association fees also typically include lawn maintenance, snow removal (if applicable), landscaping, water, sewer services, road maintenance, and garbage collection. In some cases, association fees may even include heat and electricity!
If a condo community has additional amenities such as pools, gyms, tennis courts, or a clubhouse, these can be kept with a portion of the association fee. If these additional amenities are not something you are interested in, it is important that you understand that you are still paying for these amenities to be offered to other residents.
Review association rules
Since most New condos for sale are very close to each other, the community association will have rules and regulations. Because of this, many associations will have many different rules and regulations to "keep the peace" in the community. It is important to understand that unlike a single-family home, you cannot set your own rules and do whatever you want. In many cases, buyers are not interested in reviewing the association's rules and instead have their attorney review them on their behalf.
Many communities will restrict the type of pets or whether pets are allowed. The last thing you want to know is that your animal is not allowed in the community! Other common rules in many condo communities relate to whether or not a unit can be rented or whether there are quiet hours. If you've ever had to deal with a bad neighbor in the past, you can understand why these rules are such an important part of a condo community.
Ask for special evaluations
First, it is important to understand what a special evaluation is. A special appraisal is typically a high fee charged to cover a major project within the community. An example of a major project that would be considered a special appraisal is a structural condo repair.
Why is this important advice for a first-time condo buyer?
If there is a special assessment in future plans, the association fees may increase for a specific period of time. For example, New condos for sale with a monthly association fee of $ 400 could increase to $ 500 for one year to cover roof replacement costs. All planned special assessments must be provided to a potential buyer with full disclosure.
Research Management and Maintenance Company
Knowing who maintains the property is extremely important! Who is responsible for cleaning the common areas? Is the work completed by an outside company or are community residents encouraged to help with maintenance? A condo community that's not well maintained is often very frustrating and may also affect the resale of the condo within the future.
Most condo communities have a management company. The management company normally takes care of day-to-day operations. This may include enforcing association rules and regulations, handling resident inquiries, and managing condo finances. When purchasing your first or 10th condo, if you have questions about community rules, regulations, or fees, the management company is the one to talk to. As you can see, the management company plays a vital role in whether or not a condo community is successful. If the management company is unresponsive or has a bad reputation, this is something to consider before buying!
Predict your future plans
Does it predict the future? Silly, I know! It is impossible to know exactly what will happen in the future, but most people have a plan for the future. This should be no different when buying your first condo!
Generally, the value of a condo will not appreciate as much as that of a single-family residence. This is why it is important to have a good idea of what your future plans are. If you plan to stay in the condo for ten years, then the appreciation rate is not that important if you plan to move in a year or two. Like knowing what the future holds, it is impossible to know what will happen to market values in the next few years.
The above 10 tips for buying your first New Condos for sale are equally important considerations to make before closing. Buying your first condo can be a very exciting time, and it can be a relatively straightforward process! If you follow the 10 tips above, you will feel very happy and comfortable in your condo, should you decide to go that route.
What other tips would you suggest when buying a condo?
Other Resources for First-Time and Condo Buyers
Questions to Ask When Buying a Condo by Bill Gassett
Should you buy a home or condo through Realtor.com?
Tips for First-Time Buyers and Must-Read Tips
Buying a condo from a bankrupt or insufficiently funded homeowners association by Godutch Realty
FHA Condo Approval Requirements: Sellers and Buyers Should Beware of Bill Gassett
If you are buying or selling a Now condos for sale in the Greater Rochester, NY area, please contact us so we can make sure the process is smooth and stress-free. If you're unsure whether buying a condo is right for you, we'd love to discuss our experience and knowledge to help you make an informed decision.
About the Authors: The above article "10 Tips for Buying Your First Condo" was provided by Keith Hiscock's sales team (Keith & Kyle Hiscock). With over 30 years of combined experience, if you are thinking of selling or buying, we would love to share our knowledge and experience.
We serve the following areas of Greater Rochester NY: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.
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